September 27, 2017
"Odette en abyme: Marcel Proust and Photography" with Dr. Mary Bergstein
Marcel Proust offered the twentieth century a new psychology of memory and seeing. His novel, À la recherche du temps perdu, was written in the modern age of photography and art history. Because photographs were so persistently associated with memory and time, (and because memory is the overarching topic of the recherche) photography had a special relevance to Proust’s visual imagination. His invention of the character Odette is especially nuanced in this regard. Qualities of condensation, displacement, and timelessness enter into Proust’s uses of photography to establish Odette’s relationship with Charles Swann. The photographic phenomenon continues in the narrator’s obsession with Albertine, and the “little actresses” of Second-Empire Paris.
New York Psychoanalytic Society & Institute
247 East 82nd Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues)
The Marianne & Nicholas Young Auditorium